“Out of office.” “Back to school.” Two very common phrases, ones you’ve either not given much thought to this year or perhaps you’ve given them a whole lot of thought. They are concepts sort of foreign to 2020, with its lost opportunities and interrupted routines.
Bummer, I know. But the spirit of those things is alive and well, because it has to be or we’ll all go nuts. We plan our big vacations for when it feels safe to go back in the water, ready with that “OOO” automatic reply on our email. Consumers will shop back-to-school sales for their children, confident that the academic year will see at least a portion time spent within the walls of that brick building, somehow safely and, eventually, regularly.
I couldn’t highlight a line of jewelry representative of such normalcy without acknowledging the fact that none of this is normal. And yet there’s a hint of positivity, a vibrancy that rings true to these everyday items that mark the Out of Office collection by Maya Gemstones. Though the collection made its initial debut at Paris Fashion Week in September 2019—a virtual lifetime before the pandemic—it feels especially well suited to these times.
Looking through the collection there’s something for every back-to-school list and every office space, even if both of those have been relocated to the confines of home for the foreseeable future. Pencils, paper clips, rulers—the tools of an adult and child alike. But what if a paper clip wasn’t just a paper clip, a pencil not simply a writing utensil, a ruler not something only to use for measurement? What if those ordinary items were celebrated as only a jeweler can, by casting their likenesses in precious metals and soaking them in glittering stones?
The collection would have been chic no matter the year or current situation (it’s very good looking). But because 2020 sucks, it feels even more important to honor the little things. Maya’s Out of Office collection is done magnificently in 18k white, yellow, and rose gold, with rubies, sapphires, tourmaline, diamonds, and enamel.
The collection was honed with the idea that learning never ceases, even when one’s time in the classroom ends. That remains true, but currently it feels more representative of survival mode: a paper clip pendant for keeping one’s s–t together; a ruler ring for staying straight on the course; pencil earrings for recording our wildest thoughts, hopes, and dreams.
If you can’t make it out to my lunar level as it pertains to how uplifting I find this ode to office supplies, consider its origins. The line was originally inspired by designer Olga Pekarevskaia’s 8-year-old daughter. “She made me a bracelet made of colorful paper clips one day and said, ‘Mom! Here is a piece of jewelry I made for you,’ ” said Pekarevskaia in a statement on her website. “I thought, How cool and simple is that, why not make something similar? So I took some of the stationery and began to work on ideas with my codesigner. That’s how the collection was born.”
From a young child’s imagination to a very grown-up collection, this one gets an A+.
Top: Paper clip earrings in 18k white gold with blue enamel and 0.34 ct. t.w. diamonds, €1,300 ($1,540)
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